Saturday, January 31, 2015

new normal



I was reading way back through this blog last week. I read about the day kindergarten Danny made me play Uno with him one morning before school for an hour and a half. Down came the tears because I'd love to rewind and have slow mornings before school to play Uno in my bed again. I hope I enjoyed it. I'm a little sad to think that I was probably just annoyed to be getting a late start on the laundry and toilet scrubbing. I've made up for it now because I hardly ever scrub the toilets anymore.

My kids go to school all day and I go to work. I park across the street and walk over with them. Cate stops in between sidewalk cracks 6 and 7 because she's 6 and a half years old. I give her hugs and kisses and tell her I love her. Danny stops on sidewalk crack 8 because he's 8 years old. Hugs, kisses and I love you's to him too. Then he tells me to check him out 30 minutes early (pretty much every day) and I tell him I'll try. Then they walk the rest of the sidewalk to their school and I turn and walk back to drive away. Most days I turn around and watch them walking together and sometimes they turn around and wave. And that's when the lump in my throat comes (pretty much every day) and I blink back the tears. I'm pretty sure this will never be easy. I mean really. I'm a mess. I'd much rather be playing Uno.

I'm not much for resolutions or goals or choosing one little word for the year. I have anxiety just thinking about meal planning for the week. How can I possibly think about an entire year? But I want to be better at coming here and writing something about our lives. I'm aiming for once a month. That feels doable.

Cate the Great

She's given up on wearing pants, in all shapes and forms and fabric. Skirts and dresses only if you please. And even then the sleeves have to be just the right length and no seam at her waist or else it'll bug her forever and the world is coming to an end!!!  I feel much frustration on school mornings. I'm sure you can imagine. And her hair. No more ponytails or piggy tails because there's not enough hairspray in the great state of Utah to make it feel juuuuuuuuust right near her ears to make her want to leave it alone. So her beautiful locks get to be free flowing every day, getting tangled by the wind. Hooray. And guess who's the lucky one to brush them out every morning.

Aside from the daily anxiety she gives me every morning, she's a gem. She loves school and homework. She's happy (pretty much up until about 7:30 every night). She craves people and interacting and playing. She can go to Grandma and Grandpa's house and play games, sing and dance for hours. Grandparents are a great audience for her. She loves her friends at school. Her favorite day is Friday because that's when they do Dance Party at lunch. There's music playing outside and she and her friends dance the recess away. I would love to see that one.


Oh, Danny Boy

Danny's the best little boy. He's a hugger and a kisser. Most of the hugs and kisses are for me. He loves basketball and football. He got a hoop for Christmas. Thanks to the complete lack of snow in our neck of the woods, he's got a clean backyard driveway spot to practice. He loves quiet time in his room playing with his Legos or bouncing a pink ball off the wall above his window. He likes to talk to himself in there and sometimes I stand outside his door and listen.

He hates school. It's too long. He loves his teacher because she doesn't talk to him. I don't quite know what to make of that but as long as he's happy, I'm happy. He's super smart and quite a math whiz. I wish he'd figure out how to enjoy reading more. Hopefully some day. He loves going to Grandma's house too, but mostly just if Cate isn't there. He works on whatever puzzle is currently set up on the folding table or plays on Grandma's iPad. He does not like Dance Party Fridays at school because he hates dancing. He goes to scouts on Wednesdays and is sometimes the only boy wearing the uniform. He's been mad at me about that more than once but I don't care.


Dan the Man

He goes to work and then comes home and tries to make his family happy. Tickle torture and professional wrestling with Cate. Basketball and football with Danny. And for me, he folds the clean towels I leave in a pile on his side of the bed. That's love.


Me

I'm tired. I need to hire a cleaning lady. And a personal chef. I worry a lot. I wash dishes a lot. I miss the snow.




Thursday, November 20, 2014

it's great to be eight






Every night when I tuck him in I tell him these three things:

I love you.

I'm proud of you.

You are special to me.


Every night he tells me these three things in response:

I love you waaaaaaaaay more.

I'm proud of you too.

You are special to me too.


Then we have a little smooch and I'm outta there.


Last week at tuck-in, after he said the "i'm proud of you too" part, I asked him why he's proud of me.

"I didn't do anything for you to be proud of me. I'm just the mom."

"Yes you did! You gave me my life! You are my gift!"


That might just be the best thing he's said to me ever. It pretty much made all the less-than-stellar moments of parenting him so completely worth it. What a gem he is.

I just really really love him. He's the best. I get him, you know? He's me, in little boy form (except I don't love basketball and football nearly as much as he does).

I'm just so glad he's mine.

Happy birthday to my favorite Danny boy. 



 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

ming's and other things




When we visit Santa Cruz, we eat at Ming's with our good friend Eve and her good friend Dale. Eve is a regular there. We are too now I guess. The once-a-year-in-the-summer kind of regulars. When Dan and I visited Eve in July of 2007 with an adorable 8-month-old baby Danny, the owner lady said, "Ahhh, his cheeks look-uh like-uh egg with no shell on." (in your best non-offensive Chinese voice, of course) He was so white and soft I guess. We've been back three more summers since then. Every time the same owner lady comes over and talks to us and remember us and our cute kiddos.

I was worried Danny wouldn't like Chinese food because he's super picky. Cate loves everything so I knew she'd eat. Turns out Danny loves the noodles (not a big surprise) and also the fried dough balls with the sesame seed coating. I have no idea what you call them but he loves them. On the inside is a little blob of black bean paste. It kind of tastes sweet, like chocolate. Danny thought it was chocolate and I pretty much didn't correct him.

When we ate at Ming's this summer he mentioned that he'll miss this food when we go back home to Utah. I told him that we have Chinese restaurants in our city too. His jaw dropped and he said, "We have this food near our house? What? Why did you not tell me? I've been waiting 365 days!"

Panda Express, here he comes.

*****

I've been cleaning out my phone, erasing notes that I make to myself. I'm going to jot some of them down here so they're not forgotten forever. I do have a journal for each of my kids that I've been keeping since they were born. Sadly, they will find some day that their dear mother neglected to write faithfully and huge chunks of their childhood are missing. Sorry, kids. I tried.

>>We went swimming at the hotel in Carlsbad this summer. It was actually my birthday and I was hoping that my gift would be to not have to go swimming but my mommy guilt was strong and I did it anyway. It was a wee bit chilly and the sun was setting so we tried to stay in the sunlight. We had a pretty fun time having underwater tea parties like I used to have when I was a kid. You try to cross your legs and sit on the bottom and pretend like you're holding a teacup and saucer. It was hilarious because none of us are any good at sitting with crossed legs at the bottom of the pool. We had some good laughs at that one. And we got water up our noses too.

>>Before we made it to Carlsbad, we stopped in San Diego to check out the Mormon Battalion site and walk around Old Town San Diego. Oh, man. You would think we were torturing those poor kids. Go on vacation and walk around and look at stuff? Horrid. They were tired from being in the car all day so I expected a little resistance. Sheesh. We tried to check out the streets of the Old Town part and Danny declared it "the lamest thing ever." Next time we leave them home. What a teenager.

>>Our friend, Savannah, spent the night several months ago. She came to church with us on Sunday morning. Cate whispered to me, "I'm going to be so proud of myself when I go to primary today because I brought a friend to church."

>>I was telling Danny once about how he's been to Hawaii. He was a teeny tiny little thing in my belly at the time but he was there none the less. Cate overheard our conversation and said, "I wonder where I was when you went to Hawaii. Oh, I know. I was in heaven. I hope I wasn't playing knick-knacks with Jesus." I don't even know where she comes up with this stuff.

>>I saw on a friend's Instagram this week a picture of color coordinating outfits laid out with the caption something like, "Christmas card clothes are pressed and ready for the photo shoot." And I got to thinking that maybe I need to add that to the list of stuff I'm doing all wrong. Holy moly.

>>Cate loves to draw and cut and tape. It makes her happy to let her creative juices flow. One day she said to me, "I like making better than just getting because getting is just not much fun." She's obviously never gotten a new car.

>>I can't even remember when I wrote this one or where we were. I know Danny is the one who said it though. From the looks of it, I wanted him to go in somewhere. He didn't want to. He said, "I can't go in there either. I'm too much of an I-just-sit-here man." Ha!